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Carter, Houlahan introduce bill supporting states’ readiness for public health emergencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) introduced the State Strategic Stockpile Act, a bill to extend the authorization of and funding for a program supporting states in developing and maintaining stockpiles of critical drugs, vaccines, and other medical supplies in case of a public health emergency or supply chain disruption.

Currently, the U.S. is experiencing a shortage of over 130 essential medications, leaving many states without necessary resources to provide for their citizens’ health and safety. This bill will serve as supplement the federal Strategic National Stockpile so that states can develop, expand, or maintain their own stockpiles of medical supplies, such as antibiotics, personal protective equipment, and ventilators.

“During the pandemic, Georgia’s health care providers and patients struggled to access critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment. We can never let this happen again,”
said Rep. Carter. “This bipartisan bill ensures that states have the resources they need to respond quickly to future public health emergencies without solely relying on the federal Strategic National Stockpile.”

“We still are experiencing some of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic such as drug shortages from which we need to recover. We also need to be prepared in case of a future public health emergency. It’s crucial that we have a federal Strategic National Stockpile, but states shouldn’t have to rely on that as their only resource,”
said Rep. Houlahan. “I am proud to lead on this bipartisan bill to ensure states, like Pennsylvania, which was affected by pandemic supply shortages, can respond more quickly to possible epidemics and public health emergencies by using their own stockpile as a supplement to our federal stockpile.”

Last Congress, Rep. Carter successfully included provisions of his State Stockpile Readiness Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, creating a pilot program to support state medical stockpiles for fiscal years (FY) 2022-2024. This bill will extend the authorization to FY2028.

Read the full bill text